One of my desires is that every small group to which I am connected will develop a missional strand in their DNA. In other words, I want them to exist for a purpose greater than just meeting together. Groups can become missional in many ways, but often it requires taking a few baby steps to get going. Here are some thoughts I came across yesterday which can be good first steps for a group that wants to be more externally-focused:
1. Find a single mom or single dad with whom your group can develop an ongoing relationship.2. Have your group trained to provide respite care for foster families and volunteer to babysit for a local foster family.3. Plan a group project to raise money to care for orphans.4. Your group can throw a shower for a family adopting or fostering an older child.5. Consider donating medical supplies, an appliance, or other items to an orphanage or women’s shelter as Christmas gifts.6. Build a long-term relationship between your small group and a widow.7. Go Christmas caroling with your group to several widows’ homes and take a basket of holiday goodies.8. Speak up together for the oppressed, including widows, orphans, and others.9. Sponsor a child (or children) as a group.
This list comes from a blog post entitled, "9 Ideas for Small Group Ministry to Widows and Orphans." That title is, of course, ripped directly from James 1:27 which says:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
You can read the entire post by Rick Morton by clicking here.